The Ugly Duckling Gets Braces

Before & After
“Self confidence came slowly for me and, in retrospect, I can confess with absolute certainty that the day my braces came off was a pivotal moment in my life.” 

Today is Pink Shirt Day, so I’ve decided to share my story and take a stand against bullying.  When I was younger we moved around a fair bit, so friendships were fleeting and being the ‘new girl’ meant all eyes were often on you.

At the time, I knew my teeth were less than ideal, but I was still a kid so I didn’t place too much emphasis on my smile, and growing up in a household with limited disposal income meant braces were not a priority.   Yet I remember, as clear as it was yesterday, what was said to me one day that would change my 12 year old world forever.  I was told that my teeth were ok for Halloween, but that only comes once a year.  A weak attempt at making light of my situation I suppose.

Completely dumbfounded by this statement, my mom took me by the hand and we left the office rather abruptly. From that day forward I was acutely aware of my less than ideal dentition.  This meant school pictures usually boasted some sort of awkward grin and I mastered the art of gracefully applying hand gestures in conversation to hide my crooked smile.

From that point on, I became so obsessed with having a brilliant smile that I would often take shiny white cardboard (you know the stuff nylons come wrapped around), cut it to size and placed it between my lips to mimic the perfect ‘Barbie smile.’  I would sit in the mirror and “smile” longingly at that reflection knowing it was only a matter of moments before the cardboard would become soggy and…well…I’m sure you can figure out the rest. But the initial placement went a little something like this…

Cardboard Smile

Fast forward a few years and, after enduring the nickname Dracula throughout high school, I received the best grad gift ever – I was getting braces, you know…the ones with the clear brackets…because they were all the rage at the time.  However, having loved my braces so much the first time, I ended up requiring a second round of ortho several years later when my teeth started shifting…this time – Invisalign.  The moral of this story…wear your retainer…FOREVER.

The second time around wasn’t as drastic…but still a must do in my mind.

Dental Photos

Since that time, dental technology has certainly come a long way and no…you don’t have to imagine what your new Smile will look like using shiny white cardboard, you can actually visit your dentist and ask to test drive your new smile.

Digital Smile Design is a communication protocol developed by Dr Christian Coachman, that clinically enhances treatment outcomes and enables you, the patient, the ability to Co-author and experience your new Smile before treatment begins.

What makes this even more exciting is that in 2018, The Aurum Group – a dental laboratory – is offering 6 patients the chance to test drive their smile (a $495CAD value) and of those 6, one will receive the laboratory portion of the dental work required to fully restore their upper arch (up to $10,000CAD). Yes – a Smile Makeover!

For more information, please visit:


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